The Department of Justice is investigating the Southern Baptist Convention’s handling of sex abuse cases

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The Ministry of Justice is investigating the country’s largest Protestant denomination.

Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention were vague about what the investigation entails, though they suggested it would focus on questions about how the SBC Executive Committee has handled allegations of sexual abuse in the church.

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“While we continue to mourn and regret past mistakes related to sexual abuse, current leaders across the SBC have demonstrated a firm conviction to address these issues of the past and are implementing measures to ensure they are never repeated in the future, ” the executive committee said. “The fact that the SBC Executive Committee recently completed a fully transparent investigation is evidence of this commitment.”

Earlier this year, the SBC released a 200-page report detailing how conference leaders actively covered up sexual abuse by church leaders. The report, produced by Guidepost Solutions, contained more than 200 pages of names of alleged abusers.

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SBC was shaken by allegations of sexual abuse ran rampant in 2019 when hundreds of leaders were first accused of sexually abusing children in the church.

Despite circulating the list of alleged abusers, the executive committee noted in Friday’s announcement that it understands its “reform efforts are not complete.”

FILE - This Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, file photo shows the headquarters of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

FILE – This Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, file photo shows the headquarters of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tenn.
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

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At its annual meeting in June, the SBC established a Task Force for Implementing Abuse Reform, which will be responsible for continuing to investigate sexual abuse in the church as well as establishing a fund to help survivors.

The DOJ investigation will examine “several SBC entities,” all of which are prepared to “fully and completely cooperate with the investigation.”

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